How finance can support the real economy

Entrepreneurial leader and venture capitalist shares his experience on how finance can support the real economy

The Responsible Finance & Investment Summit 2018 is excited to announce a keynote address by Dr. Henri B. Meier, Chairman or member of the Board of Directors of several venture capital companies, funds and foundations as well as author of several books and articles in the field of capital markets and currencies.  Dr. Henri B. Meier’s background stretches back decades and throughout his career, his work has crossed economic development, healthcare, finance and entrepreneurship including roles as one of the youngest division chiefs at the World Bank, founding Chairman of the Board of Directors of Givaudan AG, and Chief Financial Officer of Roche Group.  At Roche, in addition to serving as CFO for over 16 years, Dr. Meier was a Board member and a member of the Strategy Committee.

Dr. Meier was the initiator, founder or co-founder of numerous venture capital funds including Rovent, BioMedInvest, BioMedCredit, Hatteras BioCapital and HBM BioVentures. The latter is a global venture, growth and buyout investor in entrepreneurial biopharma and healthcare companies in Europe, North America, India and other Emerging Markets. Its investment management company, HBM Partners manages nearly $2 billion in assets including $1 billion in its SIX Swiss Exchange-listed fund HBM BioVentures.

More recently, Dr. Meier, the initiator of the project “Zukunftsfonds Schweiz”, has been serving as a Board member of the Foundation Pro Swiss Future Fund, set up to launch a venture capital fund-of-funds to channel Swiss savings into investments in the real economy at the frontier of technological developments. In addition to providing good returns to the pension fund investors who will capitalize the initial CHF 500 million ($530 million) fund, the fund is designed to have a visible impact on economic growth and jobs with half of the investments being made within Switzerland.

Commenting on his keynote speaker’s role, Dr. Meier said: “I am excited to address this unique audience bringing together financial professionals, asset owners and investors who are concerned about connecting finance more closely to the real economy.  Only by ensuring that society’s savings are invested in the productive sectors of the economy will we be able to support sustainable economic growth, job creation and innovation.”

Announcing Dr. Meier’s keynote role, Swiss Arab Network’s Co-Founder & President Mounir Khouzami said: “We are honored to have Dr. Meier who will address the participants in the RFI Summit 2018.  His leadership in so many roles serves as a model for how to support innovation without abandoning either financial returns or social obligations to support an inclusive economy.”

Blake Goud, CEO of the Responsible Finance & Investment (RFI) Foundation added: “Throughout his career, Dr. Meier has demonstrated how to ‘walk the talk’ in keeping the financial sector and the economy linked together.  His career shows that it is possible for the financial sector to stay engaged in service of the economy instead of the other way around.”

For more information about the RFI Summit 2018 and to register, please visit www.rfisummit.org.

About the Responsible Finance & Investment Summit 2018

The Summit, to be held on 26 and 27 April 2018 at the Atlantis Hotel by Giardino in Zurich, Switzerland, brings together key stakeholders within responsible finance to build connections to new growth opportunities and more measurable impact. The RFI Summit will play a vital role in connecting representatives from across the responsible finance industry to build on the growing cooperation between SRI, ESG and Islamic finance. The RFI Summit in Zurich is an initiative of the RFI Foundation and Swiss Arab Network to build awareness of shared values that can bring socially responsible investing (SRI), environmental, social and governance (ESG) and Islamic finance together to increase their positive impact.

About RFI Foundation

The RFI Foundation is a non-profit organisation with a mission to identify a neutral, nonpartisan and universal value proposition that encourages convergence of responsible finance practices. RFI evolves Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing (SRI), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and the Islamic finance sectors towards a convergence of their shared standards, and engages stakeholders to build the responsible finance industry as a catalyst to support equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic development.

About Swiss Arab Network

The Swiss Arab Network (SAN) is a non-profit networking organisation with headquarter in Zurich and affiliations in the Arab world that strives to bridge gaps, promote sustainable exchange and intensify the mutual understanding among Swiss and Arab people. SAN is a networking platform and organises events and gives speeches on topics like Swiss and Arab finance, business, culture, art and film. Established and high-profile organisations from Switzerland and the Arab world are members of the network.


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